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  • Toys Archives - Page 32 of 34 - Spilling the Beans - Magic Beans

Category Archives: Toys

Hidden Talents?

People call me all the time looking for paint-by-number activities. When we opened, my husband (and business partner) was coming off of four years teaching art and art history to high school students, and he encouraged me to avoid paint-by-number activities in favor of more open-ended artistic endeavors. When I first saw Sentosphere Artistics (not recently – we’ve had these ... Read More »

A tower of Babal

What’s so fun about a little foam ball embedded in a bigger foam ball? Wait and see. From the designer who created the popular Bilibo, Babal is another abstract toy concept, designed to stretch little imaginations and redefine the boundaries of play. Alex Hochstrasser is a Swiss designer who did extensive research into children’s playtime behavior. He was most inspired ... Read More »

Fun for each night

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, is celebrated each December, right around the same time as Christmas. Coincidentally, there is a tradition of giving gifts on each of the holiday’s eight nights, although this tradition almost certainly came about from a desire to keep children from feeling left out during the Christmas season. In fact, the real tradition is to ... Read More »

A magical DVD concept

Philosophically, many parents differ when it comes to babies and TV. I have friends on both sides of the issue, and I’ve always taken a middle-of-the-road stance myself. When I was a stay-at-home mom, having a half-hour to check my e-mail, cook dinner or read a magazine was a wonderful luxury, and if Baby Einstein could facilitate that, great. But ... Read More »

Balancing Act

I don’t think I need to say much about this item. The first time I saw a picture of the Labyrinth Balance Board in a catalog, I got pretty excited about it. It took me a while to track it down, and finally, as it turned out, the company that makes it, Challenge & Fun, is actually located in Massachusetts. ... Read More »

Are you game?

Although video games have become enormously popular with kids (an understatement, I know), board games are still a strong category, especially among families looking for quality together-time activities. Testament to this is the games section at Toy Fair each year, with several aisles teeming with passionate, small companies often hawking a single product. Even on a professional level, it’s relatively ... Read More »

A train table with legs

After much consideration, we’ve finally received our first shipment of Nilo activity tables. I’ve been debating this product line for a very long time, but after hearing so many great things about it, I took the plunge. We are carrying both the larger Multi-Activity Table and the 1/2 size Block Table. The Multi-Activity table is the same size as a ... Read More »

Calling all sugarplum fairies

Yesterday morning, the Today Show featured the Musical Nutcracker Dress by Acting Out, and right on time, the UPS truck rolled up with our first shipment. When I first heard about musical dress-up I was very wary. Dress up is one of the most open-ended, creative play activities, and I wasn’t sure that adding music could really improve the experience. ... Read More »

Scrabble for Capitalists

Last week, a customer came in and asked if we carried a game called Buy Word. She was shocked that we’d never heard of this game, which was recently named Game of the Year by Games Magazine. We never want to be out of the loop, so I did some research and eventually ordered this game, which has won so ... Read More »

Is that a dragon on your shoulder?

Ever since Magic Beans opened, our Thanksgiving weekends have been a bit different. We still have lots of turkey and family time, but we also spend late nights in the store, remerchandising, cleaning and getting prepared for the Holiday season. Don’t cry for me, though. When I was a kid, I used to dream about being locked in a toy ... Read More »